Let’s Take a Walk Into the Orange Wave

Well the day has finally arrived! This is a day I’ve been waiting for for a very long time now. This blog is my attempt at opening doors for you. I’ve been a Blenderhead since 2004 and all along the way I’ve continued to learn, unlearn, and relearn how to use Blender over and over again. At different times it’s been exciting, frustrating, freeing, and rewarding. But through all the ups and downs as a professional artist Blender has always been there like an old friend. Sometimes waiting patiently in the background and other times taking center stage.

Through Blender Unleashed I want to embark on a journey with you as we discover how to use Blender together to continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible and improve our ability to tell stories with Blender together. I believe that anyone can learn to use Blender and that it simply starts with being open to giving it a shot, having a little patience, and always trying to improve yourself.

Back to the Beginning

So before I get into more about what Blender Unleashed will provide for you, please allow me just a moment to talk about how this all got started. Seriously, only a paragraph or two, ok? Bear with me…

In late January of 2015 I quit my full time job to stay home and start focusing on teaching Blender full time. To say it hasn’t been easy is probably the biggest understatement I’ll ever write, but I wouldn’t trade a second of it for all the job security in the world. It’s been amazing watching people interact with me through my courses and see the light bulbs literally exploding over their heads when they start to understand how to create cool things in Blender. You know, I hear a lot of beginners talk about how big the learning curve is for this software and frankly I can’t argue with that. I had my share of hard times too back when I first fired up Blender v2.32. But nothing worth having is every free or easy so if this is your first encounter with Blender or if you’re on the fence about whether or not to keep going then I hope as you read this you hear me when I say to you that it will get better. Don’t give up. This blog is being created for you by someone who was where you are now.

The first course I ever released was named Blender Unleashed: Master 3d Fundamentals Quickly. It was successful almost immediately right out of the gate and I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that there are always people who are looking to learn Blender, but don’t really know how to get started. It’s appealing at first because it’s free software. Then as soon as you start to use it you begin to understand that it’s also jam packed with a TON of features. Features that you would have to shell out thousands of dollars for elsewhere. But then it happens. You fire up Blender and you’re immediately smacked in the face with a wall of buttons, tabs, and complex looking menus. So my first course was built to help relieve the initial shell shock of seeing Blender as a first time user.

The Real Reason Behind Blender’s Awesomeness

What’s great is that over time as you stick with Blender you find out that there are so many other reasons to become a super fan (FYI if this is you then you can affectionately refer to yourself as a #blendhead. Or #blenderhead. Btw, if you know which one is more proper then leave me a comment below). As an open source piece of software Blender isn’t controlled by some massive corporation lurking in the shadows. It’s developed and maintained by people just like you and me. People who actually use the software and who are willing to work for peanuts or just donate their time and resources freely to make sure the software keeps pumping out updates and always stays relevant. Passion is what really drives this software. This is why I continue to be a Blender user today, and ultimately it’s why you’re reading this blog right now.

So What Makes Blender Unleashed Unique?

Where to start? Well let me talk a little bit about the logo I designed for the blog. At first glance it may be obvious that it’s some kind of wave, but what may not be immediately evident is that it’s a tsunami wave. You can see that behind the wave is the outline of a sun setting in the distance indicating the wave’s massive size. A tsunami wave is very unique in that it begins in the depths of the ocean as a massive tectonic event (usually an underwater earthquake). And this gargantuan wave moves out from the epicenter growing in speed and size exponentially before reaching the nearest land mass. In the end it’s transformed into a massive unstoppable force, but it begins with unseen forces underneath the calm surface of the deep blue ocean. I feel that this perfectly parallels the journey of a Blender user.

Somewhere inside each of us a passion for creating something is awakened. We take small calculated steps towards a much larger goal of creating something that has the power to effect and change others through our creation. And over time our goals are realized as we see our skills progressing and our art improve. You have the potential to become as unstoppable as a tsunami, but at times we all need help unleashing our inner passion in order to make ourselves more effective. This is the mission of Blender Unleashed.

My Promise to You

Before I wrap up what is turning into a novel for my first post I want to leave you with a promise:

I will only share things with you that can help make you a better artist. I’m not going to waste your time.

We live in a day and age where we are constantly bombarded with so many things trying to keep our attention. Most of the time it’s a full time job just trying to sort through all the crap to find what’s really useful. And I don’t want you to ever feel like you’re wasting your time when you’re here with me. I want you to always walk away with something useful, practical, and that you feel like helps you improve your abilities. But I want this blog to be more than that. I want it to be a place where you can come and feel safe sharing what you’re working on and asking questions about how to get better. Wherever you are now someone who is now a legend has been there with you. So don’t be afraid of what you don’t know. I want to help you accomplish your goals.

I firmly believe that the fastest way to accomplishing all of this is by creating a community of Blender enthusiasts who care more about improving and helping each other than anything else. So I want to start an ongoing conversation with you. I want to talk about what you need to know, what you want to learn, and what excites you about Blender. I’m still learning, I haven’t arrived, and I never will. I’m just one guy trying to share my journey with you and what I learn along the way. But can I admit something a little selfish to you? I know that the only way I can keep getting better is to get better with you. So I need you as much as you need me. And the more we talk the better we both become. So let’s start a conversation and keep the conversation going. Let’s get unleashed together.